» News

Zaynab Al-Khawaja via Twitter: "We are Concerned about My Father's Health, We Demand Gov't to Immediately Address Issue"

2021-11-18 - 12:41 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Human rights activist Zaynab Al-Khawaja wrote a series of tweets about the condition of her father, the leading human rights defender and prisoner of conscience, who is on hunger strike in the regime's prions.

She said that "his blood sugar dropped to 3.4, and they tried to intravenously feed him."

Zaynab stressed that her father is strong, but they are concerned about his heath, adding that they demand the Bahraini government to immediately address this issue.

Al-Khawaja addressed her followers via Twitter and called them to take action for her father's sake. She said "My dad dedicated his life to fighting for justice, democracy, free speech and accountability. If you believe in these values, please do what you can. Share this and call your representatives if you can."

"These regimes always bet on people getting tired and forgetting long term prisoners, let's show them we do not tire and we do not forget."

"My father, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, is currently serving his tenth year in the regime's prisons. He started a hunger strike yesterday due to long and ongoing harassment by the prison authorities," she stated.

Zaynab also spoke about the bad prison conditions, saying "It's almost two years now that my father has no visitation rights. He's been allowed to make regular and video calls to family, those being his only communication with us, but they were never consistent and depended on the mood of the authorities."

"They give us calls as favors; for months I have been asking for the calls to be given as a right and not a favor", Zaynab reported her father as saying during a recent call. However, "A prison official interrupted and demanded he not speak politics". She went on to say that her father "protested that talking about prison conditions isn't politics"

"He was supposed to have a call with his mother today, but was worried that they would withhold his calls as punishment. The call was indeed withheld. We know through another prisoner's family that he has started a hunger strike. We have no way to reach him to know more details," she said in one of the tweets.

Zaynab confirmed that "This isn't my father's first hunger strike. His longest was 110 days, during which he was force fed (which itself is considered torture). After his last hunger strike, we were told his body is very weak, and that further hunger strikes would be dangerous to his life."

She noted that "Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja was one of the leaders of Bahrain's 2011 pro-democracy protests, standing on the stage at Pearl Square he called for a democratic country without impunity or corruption, where people have equal rights and fundamental freedoms."

"For this, he was brutally arrested, disappeared & subjected to horrific torture. In court, when the sack on his head was removed, he looked nothing like himself. His head was shaven, his jaw broken. When he spoke, he was dragged out and tortured, then sentenced to life in prison."

She highlighted that "There have been continuous international demands for his release and access to rehabilitation. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for his release. The regime's own BICI report documented his torture. Yet my father remains in a prison cell, ten years later."

Al-Khawaja stressed that "My father isn't the only Bahraini prisoner of conscience on hunger strike. Abduljalil AlSingace has also been on an extended hunger strike, demanding his writings be returned to him. His life is currently in danger."

She noted that "Prisoners of conscience shouldn't have to starve themselves to be able to make calls to their families, or get their most basic rights. They have already been put through enough injustice, and it is an additional violation of their rights."

Arabic Version